ON A COMMON COLD CRITICAL ANALYSIS

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1 ON A COMMON COLD CRITICAL ANALYSIS On common cold Osbert Sitwell elaborates the symptoms of cold and it is one of the charming proses of Osbert Sitwell.According to him cold has various dimension and it is hidden with malevolent intension in our body. Furthermore, he exaggerates the story. On the other hand, he describes that the cold changes the nature of effected person,and everything gets tasteless,as like: cigaret. moreover, the friends who you dislike they come closer to you,and the cousin,who you ever met her she will ask about you. The history of cold is too deep, and it is a devastating germ. According to the writer, Osbert Sitwell, a common cold should not be despised (hated) as it is amazing in its variety. If we have a common cold, many germs lurk behind our terrible sneezing, loud coughing, red roses, tooth pain, hair root pain, sore eyes, difficult breathing etc. A common cold thus alters not only our mode of life but also our feeling of life. It changes our nature and attitude of life. The very pleasures of life are transmuted (changed) into displeasure. Cigarettes become tasteless. So we cannot enjoy smoking even the costly cigarettes. We are seen emitting suffocating fumes from our mouths. Even the dainty food holds no interest. Our appetite is entirely centered on hot water bottles. A person suffering from a common cold no more likes to see his friends. If he does not have any friends, he now suddenly becomes genial on having a cold and he would even like to phone or meet those whom he had never liked to meet. The writes feels it strange when one of his cousins suddenly came to meet him although she had never seen him all her life. So he detected that she was suffering from a cold. There are some people who take pleasure in catching the common cold so that they may enjoy its infection. In a house hold being the germ carrier they are apt to form a reservoir. Professional people like hairdresser, waiters, writers, clergymen and doctors catch common cold more than others. As such professionals have daily public dealings. Clergy men do so on 1

2 Sundays and the writers, specially the lady novelists so at their club meetings. The chemists do so at their shops. The cold climate of England causes common cold in the national interest. For example, Napoleon, attacked England but common cold caught him and he could be finally defeated by English on June 18, 1815 at Waterloo. So credit of his defeat goes to common cold and no to British Duke of Wellington or German Field Marshal Blucher. The Kaiser, a ruler of Germany, was horribly afraid of common cold. Adolf Hitler, the most cruel dictator of Germany was a very notorious sufferer of common cold. On account of the common cold, the troops of Caesar, the Roman emperor, sneezed so much painfully in the battle field that they lost their energy when they invaded England. An English general himself became so much lean that he could not issue orders to eth British troops to attack. Exaggeration in the Essay Exaggeration makes any piece of writing enjoyable in reading. The essay On Common Cold by Osbert Sitwell gives us a great pleasure while we go through it and the tool (for giving us pleasure) used by the writer is nothing else than exaggeration. Exaggeration is always satiric and in this essay the writer has used an elegant way of satirizing the most common illness, cold, which is so common that most of the times, it is known as a common cold The whole essay is replete with the examples of exaggeration. The very first image of the cold stricken person is exaggerated that he suffers from sneezing, coughing, and red noses, the pains in the teeth and in the roots of the hair, these sore eyes, aching in the limbs, this difficult breathing, these voices, husky and grating. The image is made still better through the words: a common cold alters the very existence of him who suffers from it; not only his mode of life but also the appearance and feeling of it. Then he says that view from the window is seen in such a way that it was not looked before. The very pleasures of life are transmuted as at the touch of a witch s finger. Cloves, lemon infusing the streaming glass and hotwater bottles enhance the sharpness of the image still more. 2

3 Again writer exaggerates by telling that lonely persons become congenial and congenial persons become lonely! Then he says that in winter, if your phone rings, a person who, is unknown to you, wants to meet you and he is your enemy or has some hostile feelings for you, consider that he has become victim of this disease. Then he quotes the reference of his cousin who did not come to meet him in life. She suddenly came one day at his home to meet him. He understood by her nose that she became victim of cold therefore she visited here. He exaggerates by describing that a person of lonely temperament suddenly becomes friendly and pleasure-loving. He wants to visit theatres, lectures and concert-halls where they may splutter and sneeze to their heart s content. The idea of a few persons in every community serving as store-house for germs of cold is really very much exaggeration. We find an exaggerated list of person spreading cold very eagerly, and, to our surprise, doctors and chemists are both found therein. He says that a person who has vision can see that germs dance on the bottles of colourful- water. He says that these shops are pilgrims of infectious people. He says doctors, again, carry the infection into your own house. When doctor opens his bag, he releases all the battalions of bacilli, which are to be seen whirling out of it, rejoicing to escape from their captivity. A tender, soft, sublime but interesting exaggerated image is that of the lady novelists reading at P.E.N club in a changed pronunciation due to cold. Last idea is presented by the writer that as England is the native land of the Bacilli of cold, because its climate is the best, loyal and most abiding for this. And cold has always favoured the English Nation in the battles. He says that the battle of waterloo is not conquered by Duke of Willington or Blucher, but this germ. He says not the Duke of Willington was his conqueror, neither Blucher but this despised and altogether underrated bacillus. Again he exaggerates in great and interesting manner. We enjoy the manner and lever to which the writer has taken his exaggeration. He says about Kaiser that he was informed by doctor that he was suffering from a little cold, he replied: it is a great cold. Nothing about me is little 3

4 The writer uses exaggeration in this essay so beautifully, interestingly, and in so sublime manner that our taste of reading maintains till end of essay. We feel pleasure and enjoyment by reading it. We bring little smile on our face by reading this exaggerated and humorous essay. The writer uses all tolls of writing so brilliantly that our whole focus and attention remain toward the essay and we forget all hardships and worries of life. We go in the pleasurable world of imagination and are happy with writer. IRONY In this essay On a Common Cold, Osbert Sitwell writes on common topic of cold but he represents it in so interesting, beautiful and sublime manner by using satire, irony and exaggeration that a reader feels pleasure and enjoyment after reading it. He uses these tools to create humour, interest, attraction, and taste in the topic. From beginning to end, reader indulges so much in the essay that he forgets all worries, hardships and anxieties of life. Tool of irony makes this topic as eminent as special topic. Osbert Sitwell s all writings are full with satire and irony. In this essay, the author also frequently indulges in playful irony. First of all it is essential to understand what irony is. Irony is difference between appearance and reality. It is difference between statement and its meaning. This tool is like doctor s apparatus and it has to be used with utmost care and attention. And the writer uses it in this essay with full craftsmanship and skill for creating special effect on the readers. Here are many places in the essay, where the author indulges in playful irony. One of them is, when writer tells about the reversal of temperaments among the sufferers from cold.it supplies good ironic situation. The writer says that the congenial people become solitary and alone and those people who have congenial temper start meeting with people who have farfetched relations with them. Then he says when your cell rings in winter and someone unknown wants to meet you, consider that he has indulged in this disease. He tells about his cousin who did not visit his home in her life, but one day she visited there. He understood the cause of this visit that she was suffering from cold. 4

5 Another ironic place in the essay is, when writer says that persons who have temperament to live in loneliness, they become pleasure-loving and visit theatres, lectures and concert-halls where they may splutter and sneeze to their heart s content. Again he uses irony by saying that cold has positive pleasure for some persons. Such types of people are present in every society. He says: persons undoubtedly exist to whom a cold is an obvious, positive pleasure. The list of people that spread bacilli of cold is another ironic place. We find the doctors, the chemists and even the clergymen spread cold ironically enough. He says that doctor s bag is house of germs and he spreads them in patient s house. When he opens his bag, all the germs try to come out from this imprisonment. He says about doctor s bag: he opens it he releases all the battalions of bacilli, which are to be seen whirling out of it, rejoicing to escape from their captivity. He also makes irony about chemist s shop by saying that these shrines are centers of pilgrimage to the infectious people. They can watch that germs are present on the bottles of different colours and they try to come out from this captivity. Then he makes strong irony on church by saying that church is like refrigerator in which germs remain healthy and fresh for one week, till the next Sunday. He says this thing in this statement: churches. to be considered as refrigerators, in which germs can be preserved fresh and healthy during the week, until next Sunday. Another piece of irony is found near the end of the essay where we are told that the bacilli of cold are friendly with the Englishmen because England is their native place because of soil and climate. He states England, its favourite habitat, since our climate is the best, most loyal and most abiding allay which this affliction possesses. Again he uses irony by saying that the germs defeat the worst enemy of the English at Waterloo. He states arch-enemy of England: he was defeated finally and forever at Waterloo, by a common cold. Not the Duke of Wellington was his conqueror, neither Blucher. Again writer uses this tool by saying that common cold helped England in the past by suffering his own generals. Some generals were kicked out from army before they spoke any word which became the cause of thousand dead bodies of soldiers. 5

6 The whole essay is full with ironic statements. He uses this tool with mastery and craftsmanship. He attracts the attention of reader by it and keeps them fresh by creating humour. APPEAL OF THE ESSAY Some essays are appealing through their subject-matter while certain others are appealing through their manner of writing. The essay On a Common Cold by Osbert Sitwell depends on its style for making itself appealing to the readers. The subject-matter of the essay is as common, dull and boring as common cold but the manner of writing has made the essay a fine readable and enjoyable essay. The writer represents essay in so beautiful, interesting and humorous way that it gives up lot of effect on the reader and makes the subject-matter important and attractive. The writer writes in such a manner that reader forgets all worries, hardships and anxieties of life while reading it. Technique has used with so craftsmanship and skill that it captures the reader until he finishes the whole essay. Reader s attention and focus remains in this essay till end. The writer has taken help from two tools both of which have been used by the writer in the way of master-craftsman: irony and exaggeration. As a result of these techniques, the essay has got a sweet charm and pleasure. Exaggeration makes any piece of writing enjoyable in reading. The essay On Common Cold by Osbert Sitwell gives us a great pleasure while we go through it and the tool (for giving us pleasure) used by the writer is nothing else than exaggeration. Exaggeration is always satiric and in this essay the writer has used an elegant way of satirizing the most common illness, cold, which is so common that most of the times, it is known as a common cold Osbert Sitwell s all writings are full with satire and irony. In this essay, the author also frequently indulges in playful irony. First of all it is essential to understand what irony is. Irony is difference between appearance and reality. It is difference between statement and its meaning. This tool is like doctor s apparatus and it has to be used with utmost care and attention. And the writer uses it in this essay with full craftsmanship and skill for creating special effect on the readers. 6

7 Here are many places in the essay, where the author indulges in playful irony and exaggeration. One of them is, when writer tells about the reversal of temperaments among the sufferers from cold.it supplies good ironic situation. The writer says that the congenial people become solitary and alone and those people who have congenial temper start meeting with people who have far-fetched relations with them. Then he says when your cell rings in winter and someone unknown wants to meet you, consider that he has indulged in this disease. He tells about his cousin who did not visit his home in her life, but one day she visited there. He understood the cause of this visit that she was suffering from cold. Another ironic and exaggerated place in the essays which arouses humour is, when writer says that persons who have temperament to live in loneliness, they become pleasure-loving and visit theatres, lectures and concert-halls where they may splutter and sneeze to their heart s content. Again he uses irony by saying that cold has positive pleasure for some persons. Such types of people are present in every society. He says: persons undoubtedly exist to whom a cold is an obvious, positive pleasure. The list of people that spread bacilli of cold is another ironic and exaggerated place. We find the doctors, the chemists and even the clergymen spread cold ironically enough. He says that doctor s bag is house of germs and he spreads them in patient s house. When he opens his bag, all the germs try to come out from this imprisonment. He says about doctor s bag: he opens it he releases all the battalions of bacilli, which are to be seen whirling out of it, rejoicing to escape from their captivity. He also makes irony about chemist s shop by saying that these shrines are centers of pilgrimage to the infectious people. They can watch that germs are present on the bottles of different colours and they try to come out from this captivity. Then he makes strong irony on church by saying that church is like refrigerator in which germs remain healthy and fresh for one week, till the next Sunday. He says this thing in this statement: churches. to be considered as refrigerators, in which germs can be preserved fresh and healthy during the week, until next Sunday. 7

8 Another piece of irony and exaggeration is found near the end of the essay where we are told that the bacilli of cold are friendly with the Englishmen because England is their native place because of soil and climate. He states England, its favourite habitat, since our climate is the best, most loyal and most abiding allay which this affliction possesses. Again he uses irony by saying that the germs defeat the worst enemy of the English at Waterloo. He states archenemy of England: he was defeated finally and forever at Waterloo, by a common cold. Not the Duke of Wellington was his conqueror, neither Blucher. Again writer uses this tool by saying that common cold helped England in the past by suffering his own generals. Some generals were kicked out from army before they spoke any word which became the cause of thousand dead bodies of soldiers. The whole essay is full with ironic and exaggerated statements. He uses these tools with mastery and craftsmanship. He attracts the attention of reader by it and keeps them fresh by creating humour. 8

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